The audience was sparse for Friday’s performance of the Easter Cantata at All Saints Church. Some people said it was because Knoxville Catholic High School had their prom the same night. Others said it was because of the Dogwood Arts Festival Parade. Still others were at home dealing with storm damage from two nights before.
Those of us involved are hoping for a better turnout for the performance on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. My wife sings in the choir and I am one of two narrators. The choir and musicians come from several Catholic and non-Catholic churches. The music, which is appropriate for all Christian faiths, comes from two separate cantatas. Conductor Walt Otey combined the best parts of “Covenant of Grace” by Joseph M. Martin and “Journey to the Cross” by Pepper Choplin and others.
Admission to the concert is free but donations were accepted for Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. Even Fr. Ragan Schriver had a conflict on Friday. He had to attend a wedding rehearsal but hoped to arrive before the end of the show. When the cantata ended and it was time for the collection, I stepped up to the podium to pinch-hit for Fr. Ragan. I remembered a few highlights from his remarks at the Catholic Charities dinner and the Kids Helping Kids Fun Walk, which I parroted back. The choir sang another selection as the baskets were passed. When Fr. Ragan did arrive, I joked that he would speak during the second collection.